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Lanlord isn't returning calls about broken garbage disposal...?

Having a dispute with a tenant or landlord? Rental Law discussion

Lanlord isn't returning calls about broken garbage disposal...?

Postby jolie95 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:18 am

Our garbage disposal is broken. I called the landlord about it weeks ago. He said that he wanted to come out and look at it before he hired a plumber. At the time, it was only leaking. Now the disposal won't run. We can't use that side of the sink because it leaks water. When the dishwasher runs, water backs up into the sink and slowly drains. We have a bucket under the sink to catch water. Our apartment has a sewer odor, and I believe that it's coming from under the sink.

When I called the landlord weeks ago he said that he wanted to look at it first and see if he could fix it himself. He said that he would call and come out that weekend. I don't have any missed calls from him. I have called him a few times a week. I have left at least four messages. I even got his wife's cell phone number from one of the other tenants in the building. Their son lives in this building and said that they get off work at 5:00.

My father-in-law offered to buy us a new disposal if we pay him back. My husband wants to leave the landlord a message saying that if we don't hear from soon that we're going to get a new disposal and deduct it from our rent. I don't think that will go over well with the landlord. What if we get the new disposal and still have issues? But what other option do we have to get this resolved?
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Lanlord isn't returning calls about broken garbage disposal...?

Postby ahanu » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:20 am

Our garbage disposal is broken. I called the landlord about it weeks ago. He said that he wanted to come out and look at it before he hired a plumber. At the time, it was only leaking. Now the disposal won't run. We can't use that side of the sink because it leaks water. When the dishwasher runs, water backs up into the sink and slowly drains. We have a bucket under the sink to catch water. Our apartment has a sewer odor, and I believe that it's coming from under the sink.

When I called the landlord weeks ago he said that he wanted to look at it first and see if he could fix it himself. He said that he would call and come out that weekend. I don't have any missed calls from him. I have called him a few times a week. I have left at least four messages. I even got his wife's cell phone number from one of the other tenants in the building. Their son lives in this building and said that they get off work at 5:00.

My father-in-law offered to buy us a new disposal if we pay him back. My husband wants to leave the landlord a message saying that if we don't hear from soon that we're going to get a new disposal and deduct it from our rent. I don't think that will go over well with the landlord. What if we get the new disposal and still have issues? But what other option do we have to get this resolved?
Unfortunately you can't just deduct money from rent for repairs. You can get evicted over this because you are not paying your full rent and if the landlord wants to be a prick, he can start the process.

A disposal is not considered a life and death appliance such as A/C, heat, water, toilets. If the landlord chooses, he can come in and all together remove the disposal and just leave you with a sink drain.

You need to get him on the phone and give him 1 last shot. If he tells you he can't come over, offer to replace it however you want something from him in writing that you can deduct the amount from the rent.
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Lanlord isn't returning calls about broken garbage disposal...?

Postby cadby » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:25 am

You need to write him a certified letter.

Certified letters are good, because you can show the judge (if it comes to that) that you tried to take care of the problem. Be sure to document the number of times you've called him, and the fact that it is leaking. You are concerned about the eventual growth of mold and the unsafe environment it will force you to live in. Give him a time limit (say, 48 hours) with which to respond.

If that doesn't work, you need to take care of the problem yourself. You now have undeniable proof that you attempted to contact him and get the issue taken care of. You don't say where you livem but in my state:

The landlord shall at all times during the tenancy maintain the dwelling unit in a habitable condition. A dwelling unit is not habitable if it violates provisions of housing or health codes concerning the health, safety, sanitation or fitness for habitation of the dwelling unit or if it substantially lacks:
(a) Effective waterproofing and weather protection of the roof and exterior walls, including windows and doors.
(b) Plumbing facilities which conformed to applicable law when installed and which are maintained in good working order.

and

if a landlord fails to maintain a dwelling unit in a habitable condition as required by this chapter, the tenant shall deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying each failure by the landlord to maintain the dwelling unit in a habitable condition and requesting that the landlord remedy the failures. If a failure is remediable and the landlord adequately remedies the failure or uses his or her best efforts to remedy the failure within 14 days after receipt of the notice, the tenant may not proceed under this section. If the landlord fails to remedy a material failure to maintain the dwelling unit in a habitable condition or to make a reasonable effort to do so within the prescribed time, the tenant may:
(a) Terminate the rental agreement immediately.
(b) Recover actual damages.
(c) Apply to the court for such relief as the court deems proper under the circumstances.
(d) Withhold any rent that becomes due without incurring late fees, charges for notice or any other charge or fee authorized by this chapter or the rental agreement until the landlord has remedied, or has attempted in good faith to remedy, the failure.

You need to check YOUR state to see what provisions there are for making repairs, then follow them to the letter. Most legal clinics will have a brochure specifically written for this subject.

Good luck- I hate lazy landlords.
cadby
 
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Lanlord isn't returning calls about broken garbage disposal...?

Postby madison86 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:30 am

Notify the landlord by registered letter, return receipt and keep the signed copy to prove you notified and he received it.
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